Lijsbeth Sanders: and her 2nd Conviction for Theft

by Mansell Upham

5 January 1696

The unbaptized slave woman, Lijsbeth van de Caep – later known as Elisabeth (Lijsbeth) Sanders: / Saanders: / Sandra and aka Lijsbeth Everts: (having been fostered by the free-black couple Evert van Guinea and Anna van Guinea) – is again convicted for housebreaking and theft.

This time for stealing jewelry belonging to the free-black Jacob Cornelisz: van Bengale.

She is sentenced to flogging (5 January 1696) and 3 years hard labour in chains …

Of likely Malagasy / Abyssinian [Ethiopian] extraction, she is sister to:

• freed halfslag Cape-born slave Armozijn de Groote

• freed halfslag Cape-born slave Pieter Willemsz: aka Tamboer.

She is the Cape-born heelslag freed private slave and ex-houvrou (concubine) to:

• the free-black Louis van Bengale,

Willem Teerling [? William Tarling] (from Middlesex) – convicted English Cape free-burgher & former knecht of Louis van Bengale, &

• free-burgher Johann Herbst (from Bremen).

Her former owner Baes Arie [the free-burgher Adriaen Willemszz: van Brakel (from ‘s Hertogenbosch)] is obliged, in terms of two Council of Policy resolutions (14 June & 14 July 1678), to cede her to the free-black (her future lover and father of 3 eldest daughters) Louis van Bengale as a judicial settlement following her conviction (April 1678) for breaking into Louis’s house and stealing from him.

For more information about this intriguing, wayward, unruly and disreputable Cape matriarch – of mammoth recorded genealogical significance, click at the following link:…/Remark…/UL03MadeOrMarred.pdf

Note: The free-black Jacob Cornelisz: van Bengale is recorded variously as Jacob Cornelisse(n):

* van Bengale

* van Colombo

* van Malabar

* van Zeilon

A slave belonging to the Moordkuil massacred free-burgher Thielman Hendricksz: (from Utrecht), he is manumitted (1677) by resolution of the Council of Policy, utilized as mandoor in charge of slaves (4 male & 6 female) at the Company’s buitenpost at Rondebosch, and granted (13 June 1707) an erf in Table Valley [Block LL] (30 r 41’ (446,6 Ha) which (after 14 years occupation), he sells to the Deaconate.

Baptised as an adult (20 April 1692), he marries Cape (3 February 1693) Cornelia (Neeltie / Neeltje/n) van Macassar (dies 1697) – baptized as bejaarde (adult) (28 July 1686) – by whom he has 3 children:

* Maria (Mietje) (baptized 7 September 1692),

* Catharina (baptized 8 January 1696) &

* Cornelis (baptized 7 April 1697).

He remarries (10 January 1700) the freed slave Sara van Madagascar – by whom he has 1 daughter:

* Pieternella (baptised 16 October 1701).

He purchases (6 October 1700) the slave Titus van Bengale (aged 27 / 28) from the political exile Octavius van Macassar for Rds 63.

He witnesses (19 June 1712) the baptism of the private slave infant Abraham belonging to Cape-born manumitted slave and free-burgher Joost Vintura / Ventura.

Bronze Sculpture “La Negresse” by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (11 May 1827-12 October 1875) [Indianapolis Museum of Art]

At Earth’s Extremest End … Poem Carved into the 1st Foundation Stone laid for the Casteel de Goede Hoop

At Earth’s Extremest End …

by Mansell Upham

Today at noon (2 January1666), the 1st foundation-stone is laid by the 2nd VOC commander of the Cape of Good Hope:

the Dresden-born Zacharias Wagenaer (1614-1668),

being one of the five bastions of the new Fort … Casteel de Goede Hoop … together with the other senior officials laying the other four:

  • Abraham Gabbema from The Hague, Zuid-Holland
  • Hendrik Lacus from Wesel in the Duchy of Cleves
  • Cornelis de Cretzer from The Hague, Zuid-Holland, and
  • the Rev. Johannes van Arkel (1640-1666) from Den Briel / Brielle, Zuid-Holland.

The following poem, now buried and no longer visible, was carved into the foundation stone of the Casteel de Goede Hoop and unveiled (2 January 1666).

The English translation is by Rev. Hendrik Carel Vos Leibbrandt (31 December 1837- 1 January 1911)

«Thus more and more the kingdoms are extended;

Thus more and more are black and yellow spread,

This from the ground a wall of stone is raised,

On which the thundering brass can no impression make.

For Hottentots were always earthen,

But now we come with stone to boast before all men,

And terrify not only Europeans, but also Asians, Americans and savage Africans.

Thus Holy Christendom is glorified;

Establishing its seats amidst the savage heathens.

We praise the Great Director, and say with one another:

“Augustus’s dominion, nor Conquering Alexander,

Nor Caesar’s mighty genius, has ever had the glory

To lay a corner stone at Earth’s Extremest End!” »

Den eersten steen van ‘t nieuwe Casteel Goede Hope heeft WAGENAER gelegt met hoop van goede Hope.


Soo werden voort en voort de rijcken uitgespreyt

Soo werden al de swart’, en geluwen gepreyt

Soo doet men uijtter aerd, een steene wal oprechten

daer ‘t donderend metael, seer weynigh can ophechten

Voor Hottentoos waren ‘t eerteijts aerde wallen

nu comt men hier met steen voor anderen oock brallen

dus maekt men dan een schricq, soowel d’Europiaen

als voor den Aes: Amer: en wilde Africaen

dus wordt beroemt gemaeckt, ‘t geheijlich christendom

die setels stellen in het woeste heijdendom

wij loven ‘t groot bestier, en zeggen met malkander

Augustus heerschappij, noch win net Alexander,

noch Caesar’s groot beleijt, zyn noijt daermee gewaerd

met leggen van een steen, op ‘t eijnde van de Aerd.


Company Journal – Cape of Good Hope (2 January 1666)

Hendrik Carel Vos Leibbrandt (1837 – 1911) – South Africa’s Archivist Extraordinaire …

Hendrik Carel Vos Leibbrandt (Cape Town 31 December 1837 – Cape Town 1 January 1911)

Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) minister who is forced to resign from the ministry because of his liberal theological views, becoming thereafter South Africa’s 1st State Archivist.

8th child of Johann Sebastian Leibbrandt (1793–1855), Cape Town wine merchant by wife, Alida Johanna Fischer (1796–1869).

His father is younger son to the  progenitor of South African branch of Leibbrandt Family, Johann Sebastian Leibbrandt (1747–1817) who arrives (1774) at Cape of Good Hope from Leonberg, Württemberg, Germany, in service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), later receiving burgher rights and starting a bakery in Cape Town.

Educated at the Zuid-Afrikaansch Athenaeum, Cape Town and at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands where he obtains the degree in theology (August 1859).

Studies theology (1855-1859) at Utrecht, Netherlands.

Marries (24 February 1860) in South Africa Sarah Aletta Sinclair by whom he has 7 sons and 5 daughters – 8 reaching adulthood.

2nd Minister at DRC, Victoria West, Cape Colony (January 1860-March 1877) – ordained (6 May 1860), succeeding Ds. W.A. Krige.

His ministry at Victoria-West ends, however, in controversy due to his association with other liberal-minded ministers, viz T. F. Burgers, a good friend, J.J. Kotzé and S.P. Naudé – all contemporaries at Utrecht and dubbed the Liberal Trio who become isolated due to resistance from increasing recidivist Orthodox elements of DRC (commencing 1865 but culminating in 1870s) when he co-authors (with Burgers and Leopold Marquard) three essays Gedachten over de roeping der Kerk en de verhouding van den leraar tot zijne gemeente (Kaapstad, 1869) and written for the Christelike Kongres (July 1869).

Ouderling P.J. Joubert of DRC Colesberg had already accused him during the Synod (1862) and Ds. Burgers of heresy in private conversations, alleging “amongst other things, that there is no devil and questioning Christ’s innocence & the soul’s eternity”.

The impasse results in the Synod granting permission (November 1876) for the establishment of a 2nd congregation at Victoria West. The Congregation offers him £2 500 as compensation to avoid schism. Ons Kerk Album puts it thus:

“De gemeente liep gevaar in twee gesplits te worden, doch dit werd verhoed door dat men de predikant uitkocht voor £2 500, en so legde hij de bediening neer”.

On 24 June 1877, according to Ons Kerk Album, but the following day (25 June) according to Suid-Afrikaanse Biografiese Woordeboek his followers – under F.W. Herold, civil commissioner and resident magistrate of Victoria-West – hold a special ceremony to thank him for 18 years’ service.

Active in the parish, his greatest followers are G.W.F. van Heerden and J. Auret, but initially popular amongst Whites, ‘Coloureds’, English as well as Dutch, making provision for the elaborate fencing of church building and founding missionary church over which he personally presides from time to time and encourages establishment of new DRC parishes for Carnarvon (1874) and Prieska (1878). Prior to this, he is unable to attend sufficiently to visit parishioners individually (huisbesoek) being needed also at Carnarvon, Modderfontein and other outlying areas – during this time the great flood door te poort (23 February 1872) results in the deaths of 60 parishioners.

Minister at Vrye Protestantse (Unitariese) Kerk (August 1877-1880) at Graaff-Reinet – church founded in Cape Town by fellow liberal ex-DRC Ds. D.P. Faure (1842-1916).

Archives (early 1880) old records of Graaff-Reinet Magistrate’s Office .

Pursuing archivist interests, he brings the lamentable condition of colonial archives to attention of Colonial Government which appoints him to collate and codify historical documents which keeps him busy (throughout 1880) with Parliament approving (June 1880) the position of archivist combined with the upkeep of the Parliamentary Library. The position is reserved for G.M. Theal, a civil servant who had already published a history of South Africa and acted as past-time archivist (since March 1879).  J.G. Sprigg’ cabinet. This unleashes an uproar – inside and outside of parliament – when Leibbrant is appointed (January 1881) instead of Theal. Attempts to revoke appointment (May 1881), are defeated by only 1 vote causing, not only increased rivalry, but also a flood of valuable publications by both historians.

George McCall Theal

Succeeds (January 1881) Canada-born George McCall Theal as Cape colonial archivist after official appointment (6 January 1880).

Also (from 6 January 1881) librarian for the Legislative Council.

Acting librarian (1 January 1885) of the joint Parliamentary Library (appointment only formalized 1899).

Resigns (February 1901) becoming South Africa’s 1st full-time archivist (until his retirement 1908).

Publications (mostly in English) of historical records are of inestimable value in making early colonial records of South Africa available to a wider reading audience.

Publications: Précis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope

His 1st volume of Précis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, December 1651-December 1653 (Cape Town, 1886) is the start of an ambitious series of 16 volumes in which original 17th and 18th century Dutch documents housed in the Cape Archives become accessible in contemporary English translation to the public.

The 1st volume contains a biographical sketch of Jan van Riebeeck and a summary of his Dagregister or Journal (December 1651-December 1653).

The 2nd volume, Rambles through the archives of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, 1688-1700 (1887), is published at his own cost. A shortage of funds means that summary of documents relating to successive Cape commanders / governors, Journal, 1699-1732 and Letters Despatched, 1696-1708 and Letters Received, 1695-1708 (1896) are published in Cape Town (9 years later).

Two further sections of Van Riebeeck’s Dagregister (started 1886) follow (1897) covering the periods (January 1656-December 1658) & (January 1659-May 1662) together with The Defence of Willem Adriaan van der Stel followed by an English translation of Korte deductie in which W.A. van der Stel refutes (1707) accusations made against him by Adam Tas and other disgruntled white free-burghers – Leibbrandt is of the bopinion that prevailing negative perceptions of Van der Stel are false and that the governor had been falsely accused hoping to show the ‘disgraced’ and recalled governor in a more positive light.

Two volumes of Letters and Documents Received, 1649-1662 (1898 and 1899) follow thereafter featuring both English translations and original Dutch texts alongside.

Three volumes Letters Despatched from Cape Town, 1652-1662 (1900) and two more volumes of Journal (Dagregister) appear (1901 & 1902) – 1st covering (1662–1670) and the 2nd (1671-74 and 1676).

Records pertaining to the Slagternek Rebellion: The Rebellion of 1815, generally known as Slachter’s Nek (Cape Town 1902) are edited and published following an instruction by Government followed by transcription of original Dutch (1903).

Thereafter three volumes of Requesten (Memorials) for the period (1715-1806) are prepared but volume 1 and 2 only get published (1905 & 1906) respectively while P-Z only gets published in the 1980s.

His monumental Précis notwithstanding, he also publishes other important documents in the Archives in agreement with Theal but which results in further antipathy between the two historians.

In his Forward to the Resolutiën van den Commandeur en Raden van de Fort de Goede Hoop, 1652-1662 (Cape Town 1898), he complains about his collaborator’s obstructionism and plagiarism revealing that although Theal is fully aware of his efforts to collate records relating to period of Governor Joachim van Plettenberg, Theal does not inform him that Theal actually has original journals; and also accuses him of publishing material (brought back by Leibbrandt from Netherlands) and using his notes without acknowledgement.

He also writes numerous articles especially for Het Zuid-Afrikaansche Tijdschrift including description of funeral of appointed governor Baron Pieter van Rheede van Oudtshoorn (1714-1773) and a series about the hunter and explorer, the Cape-born Jacobus Coetzee (1727-c. 1818) – parodied and ‘palimpsestified’ by his Nobel Prize-winning novelist descendant JM Coetzee in his 1st work of fiction Duskland (1974 & 1982) – as well as speculations about the naming of Devil’s Peak.

His interest in historical linguistic aspects results in De Franse taal in den Hollandschen tijd and Het officieel Nederduitsch in Zuid-Afrika tachtig jaren geleden (September 1886 & October 1888) – but much linguistic work remains unpublished.

Lesser known, is his monumental work as archivist proper – his contribution to organization and the establishment of South Africa’s archival institutions is inestimable:

  • Only in 1901 (7 years before retirement), separated positions of archivist and librarian allow him to concentrate on archival work alone.
  • Other than some additional help from time to time, works solo so that enough documents for period (1881-1906) are reclassified amounting to 3 440 folio volumes together with catalogues, drawing up of registers and various other duties.
  • Preserves archives of state departments
  • Highlights the need for a separate archives building for the Colony’s archives (then still housed in basement of Parliament).
  • Active in ensuring that archival documents in outlying districts becoming centralized
  • Procures and secures important documents in private collections for safekeeping.

Honourary member of Historische Genootschap van Utrecht and (with J.E. Heeres) contributes Memoriën van den Gouverneur Van de Graaff over de gebeurtenissen aan de Kaap de Goede Hoop in 1780-1806 (Den Haag, 1894).

Extraordinary member of Vereeniging voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen in Utrecht and member of South African Preservation Society.

If Possible … Mogelijck sijnde – Jan van Riebeeck’s Misgivings about Christian Conversion of the Cape of Good Hope’s Indigenous Peoples in his Prayer Introducing the 1st Resolution of the Dutch-Occupied Cape of Good Hope’s Council of Policy

If PossibleMogelijck sijnde – Jan van Riebeeck’s Misgivings about Christian Conversion of the Cape of Good Hope’s Indigenous Peoples in his Prayer Introducing the 1st Resolution of the Dutch-Occupied Cape of Good Hope’s Council of Policy

by Mansell Upham

Khoikhoi in a Storm [South African National Library]
Dutch text on the drawing reads: “At the Cape it blows mostly S.E. for half a year and mostly N.W. for the half of the year, and both so fiercely that one is scarcely able to walk. Here now is depicted a storm … This woman has a kaross around the middle, and another upper kaross … The leather bag which they always carry hangs here on the back”.

” … If we look back to the resolutions of Council (commencing 30 December 1651), it will be found that the first contains public supplications to the Almighty for the diffusion of the principles of the Reformed religion amongst the natives, then only known by the name of Wilde Brutaale Menschen …”

Petrus Borchardus Borcherds Sr. (1786-1871) – author of An Auto-biographical Memoir of PETRUS BORCHARDUS BORCHERDS, Esq. Late Civil Commissioner of Cape Division & resident magistrate for Cape Town & District thereof, & Cape District – A Plain Narrative of Occurrences from Early Life to Advanced Age, Chiefly Intended for his Children and Descendants, Countrymen & Friends” (A. S. Robertson, Adderley-Street, Cape Town 1861 / Saul Solomon & Co., Printers., Cape Town), taken from “His Notes …, relative to the past & present condition of the Hottentots [Khoe & San] & Natives [Black Africans] of South Africa” incorporated into the “Papers Relative to the Condition & Treatment of the native Inhabitants of Southern Africa within the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, or Beyond the Frontier of that Colony, Part I: Hottentots & Bosjesmans, Caffres, Griquas, ordered by the British House Of Commons to be published 18 March 1835

In the hope that they may be converted, an initially optimistic Jan van Riebeeck, the Cape of Good Hope’s 1st VOC commander, made a point of including the Cape’s aborigines in the official prayer that took place at the commencement of each session of the Council of Policy:

… ende onder dese wilde brutale menschen [inserted later were the words … mogelijck sijnde …] uwe ware Gereformeerde Christelijke Leere mettertijt mochte voortgeplant ende verbreijt worde.

Ironically, the colony’s founder had his doubts … for soon thereafter, Van Riebeeck revised the prayer, inserting the words mogelijck sijnde ….

Gebed – 30 Desember 1651

O Barmhertige Goedertieren Godt ende Hemelsche Vader, Nadien het uwe Goddelijcke Maijesteijt geliefft heefft ons te beroepen over ‘t bestier der saacken van de Generale Vereenighde Nederlantse g’octroijeerde Oost Indische Comp[agni]e. alhier aen Cabo de Boa Esperance ende wij ten dien eijnde met onsen bijhebbenden Raedt in uwen H.[eilige] name vergadert sijn: omme met advijs van deselve sodanige besluijten te maecken, waermede den meesten dienst van de opgemelte Compe. gevoirdert, de Justitie gehanthaefft, ende onder dese wilde brutale menschen (mogelijck sijnde) uwe ware Gereformeerde Christelijcke Leere mettertijt mochte voortgeplant ende verbreijt worden, tot uwes H.[eilige] Naemes loff ende Eere, ende welstant onser H[ee]ren. Principalen, waertoe wij sonder dijne genadige hulpe ‘t alderminste en vermogen.

Soo bidden wij U derhalven O aldergenadighste Vader, dat gij ons met uwe Vaderlijcke wijsheijt wilt bijwoonen, ende in dese onse vergaderinge presiderende, onse herten sulx verlichten dat alle verkeerde passien, misverstanden ende andere diergelijcke gebreecken van ons mogen geweer[t] blijven, ten eijnde onse herten van alle menschelijcke affecten reijn, ende onse gemoederen soo gestelt sijnde wij in onse raedtslagen niet anders voornemen nochte besluijten, als ‘t gene mach strecken tot grootmaeckin[ge] ende loff van uwen alderheijlighsten naeme, ende den meesten dienst van onse Heeren ende Meesters sonder in eeniger maten op eijgen baet off particulier proffijt acht te nemen, het welcke ende wes meer ons tot uijtvoerin[ge] onser bevolen dienste ende zaligheijt nodigh sij.

Wy bidden ende begeeren in den naeme uwes Wel lieven Zoons onsen Heijl[ant] ende Zaligmaker Jesu Christij, die ons heefft leeren bidden:

Onse Vader &a.

English Translation


O Gracious and Most Merciful God and Heavenly Father, in Your Divine Majesty,

You have loved us and called us to guide the affairs of the Dutch East India Company in this place, and to this end we are gathered here together in Your Name.

May the decisions we take further the best interests of the above-mentioned Company, to maintain justice and, if it is possible, may your true Reformed Christian teachings be established and spread among these wild and uncivilized people [if possible], to the honour and praise of your Holy Name and the prosperity of our God Almighty, without whose merciful help, we are powerless.

Therefore we pray to You, O Most Merciful Father, and ask that you will stand by and support us with your Fatherly Wisdom and Understanding and preside over our gatherings; lift our hearts that all wrong passions, misunderstandings and bestial lusts be removed from us and cleanse our hearts from all human affectations; and so fix our minds that in our actions no other principles or motives are apparent other than the magnification and honor of your Most Holy Name, so that we may best serve our lords and masters, without in any way acting for our own advantage or taking into account personal gain, to which end we will carry out our orders and so earn a worthy blessing.

We pray and ask this in the Name of Your Beloved Son, Our Master and Saviour Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy Kingdom come,

Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debt, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not in temptation.

But deliver us from evil:

For thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever.


Afrikaans Translation

Barmhartige, genadige God en hemelse Vader, volgens u goddelike wil is ons geroep om die sake van die Verenigde Nederlands Geoktrooieerde Oos-Indiese Kompanjie hier aan die Kaap die Goeie Hoop te bestuur.

Met hierdie doel voor oë is ons met ons Raad in u heilige Naam vergader om met die Raad se advies sodanige besluite te neem waarmee ons die Kompanjie se belange die beste kan bevorder.

Ons is hier om die wet te handhaaf en om, as dit moontlik is, onder hierdie wilde en onbeskaafde mense u ware Gereformeerde Christelike leer voort te plant en bekend te maak tot lof van u heilige Naam en tot voordeel van die wat oor ons regeer.

Hiertoe is ons sonder u genadige hulp allermins in staat.

Daarom bid ons U, allerhoogste Vader, dat U met u vaderlike wysheid by ons sal bly.

Ons bid dat U self leiding in ons vergadering sal gee en ons harte so verlig dat alle verkeerde hartstogte, tweedrag en ander dergelike gebreke van ons geweer sal word sodat ons harte van alle menslike hartstogte skoon sal wees.

Laat ons gemoedere so ingestem wees dat ons in ons beraadslaging niks anders beplan of besluit nie as dit wat mag strek tot grootmaking en lof van u allerheiligste Naam en tot diens van die wat oor ons regeer.

Laat ons nie in water mate ook al op eie voordeel of winsbejag let nie, maar net op die uitvoering van ons opdragte en dit wat vir ons saligheid nodig is.

Ons bid en vra dit in die Naam van u geliefde Seun, ons Heiland en Saligmaker, Jesus Christus … wat ons leer bid het:

Ons Vader wat in die hemel is, …

… Amen


Petrus Borchardus Borcherds Sr. (1786-1871)

Son of:

  • Ds. Meent Borcherds (1762-1832) from Jemgum, Ost-Friesland by his wife the Cape-born Aletta Jacoba de Wit

Maternal grandson of:

  • Petrus Johannes de Wit by his 2nd wife Aletta Jacoba Blankenberg

Maternal great-grandson of:

  • Maria [Adriaans(z):] van de Caep voorkind (baptized Cape 30 December 1685) by her husband, the reformed American pirate Jan de Wit (from New York [formerly Nieuw Amsterdam]), son of Willem de Wit aka William White – possibly related to Plymouth Colony-bound Mayflower `Pilgrim father` William White (c. 1580-1621) – pirate (1705) on the Speaking Trumpet under famous pirate `king` John Bain shipwrecked at Black Rock off Mauritius who deserts to the Dutch settlement there and is sent to Batavia on the Oegstgeest arriving thereafter at the Cape ex Batavia via Mauritius (1705 / 1706) as a VOC sailor … he is again sent to Madagascar on the Ter Aa as a slave trader for the Dutch later becoming a very rich, respectable, slave-owning, influential and armigerous member of the Marriage Board and Church Elder (1722-1743), Burgher Councillor; member of the Orphan Chamber and Lieutenant of Infantry …

Maternal great-great-grandson of:

  • freed slave Anna Liberta van Juff:[rouw] Coon aka Anna Pieters: / Pyters: van Batavia

Abraham Hartog – the Cape of Good Hope’s Jewish Executioner

On 27 December 1678 the Ashkenazi Jew Abraham (Abram) Hartog(h) [Herzog?] (from Frankfurt am Main) converts to Christianity and is baptised as an adult at the Cape of Good Hope.

He starts out in the Dutch colony as the geweldiger (literally `violator` – at times translated as / used synonymously with `balju` / `bailiff`) – an occupation that included both the functions of administering torture and executing the death sentence and effectively a caste-restricted vocation associated with `uncleanliness` usually reserved by Europeans for tolerated non-(native) Christian outsiders such as Jews.

Worth noting: is that sex between a Christian and a Jew was also considered by some leading contemporary Roman-Dutch jurists to qualify as `sodomy` and/or `bestiality` …

Nevertheless, he ends up as a wealthy free-burgher, prominent slave owner and land-owner purchasing the garden in Table Valley belonging to progenitor Christoffel Snyman`s step-father the free-black Anthonij Jansz: van Bengale and mother, the pardoned banished ex-convict Groote Catrijn van Paliacatta).

His 3rd marriage at the Cape is later declared invalid after discovery that his cross-dressing Frisian `wife` Johan Theunis aka Lumke Thoole already had a husband in Europe and had committed adultery …

Mother and daughter are sent back to the Netherlands in disgrace.

His only surviving son, Abraham Hartog Jr., joins the VOC to serve at Delagoa Bay (later Lourenço Marques – now Maputo, Mozambique) helping to procure slaves for the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope.

Camissa … kamma = ‘river’ … kammasa = ‘truth’ … kamma = ‘ostensible’

Camissa … kamma = ‘river’ …  kammasa = ‘truth’ … kamma = ‘ostensible’

by Mansell Upham

The recent re-emergence, promotion, usage, origins and authenticity of the name Camissa in the local lexicon and as a questionable proto-name – and also, for some, politically corrected – ‘alternative’ name for Cape Town, appears to have very little historical basis.

Only one reference to this name in the written record has been traced thus far …  

In a policy consideration (dated 24 April 1682) … quoted below … for Cape Commander Simon van der Stel (1639 – 1712) by outgoing VOC Governor-General of the Dutch Indies, Rijklof Volckertsz: van Goens Senior (1619 – 1682), while stopping over at the Cape (13 March 1682-29 April 1682) en route back to Patria, specific reference is made to what appears to be an indigenous (albeit approximately phoneticised) name Camissa or Cumissa for what is presently known as the Great Fish River and 1st mapped as the Rio de Infante by earlier en passant Portuguese navigators:

24 April 1682

                … We have further to consider whether the extent of the Cape lands will suffice for the cultivation, and in particular for the quantity of cattle that will be reared in the process of time … the land now in our possession is enough for our present stock [18,000 sheep, 2,000 horned cattle. &c.] but more land must be sought for the probably increase. 

                Thus, in time, a further extension of the Colony must be thought of, for which    purpose a widely extended field lies open to us …

                Within a distance of 70 mylen from E by N to NE some considerable rivers & large forests may be found, & in all probability the river named on the coast Rio de Infante [the Great Fish River], but called in the interior Camissa or Cumissa, a very large river, the discovery of which will be a great point, and a step towards the subsequent discovery of the river of Monomotopa, and more and more of the countries of Southern Africa, so far at least as the service of the Company may in time require, selecting in the first place such lands on this, that is on the south, side of Rio de Infante as are nearest, best situated, and most easy to access.

                This space comprises a great extent of country, which is (to all appearance) inhabited, or wandered over (door geloopen) by none but various tribes of poor ignorant Hottentots in their migratory mode of life, but still it is abundantly stocked with oxen, cows, steers, elands, harts, sheep, all kinds of deer, hares, birds, and other useful animals. 

                The Company and the burgers being thus supplied with abundance of land, – time, and the future condition of the Company and the Fatherland, will point out what else is necessary …

                It would be a very desirable thing if we could induce the Hottentots to adopt some kind of civilized habits, and thus teach them to be faithful to us, which would give us much security in such an emergency (ie an invasion by any European power); but of this there appear as yet slender hopes, from the great barbarism and rude manners of those people. 

                What may be effected upon those ignorant men in time, and with skillful management, depends upon the will of providence; but nothing will be accomplished by any kind of severity; and it will be necessary to exhibit much patient forbearance, discretion, and, especially, affability.

  • R. van Goens

                This paper details at some length, the motives of taking possession “28 years ago, as the English were inclined to take possession of St. Helena to our injury,” and the gradual growth of a Colony, of which the object was still “merely to secure a place of refreshment in a temperate and healthy climate.” 

                The additional object of “raising cheap provisions” rendered it necessary to encourage the farmers by buying their grain at a fair price, and finding them servants by discharging such persons in the service of the Company, – “being Protestants, and either Dutch or Germans,” – as were so disposed.

                The Governor-General gives hopes of a change in the system of every passing officer giving new orders; censures arbitrary practices in the administration of justice; lays down directions for the defence of the Colony against the French, and other external enemies; but does not further allude to the relations with the natives.

The only portion of the “Considerations,” excepting the extract above given, in which they are mentioned, is in directing a party of 30 men to be sent to explore “the country near the Bay of St. Lucia and Terra de Natal, near where, as stated in Portuguese accounts, “the Rio de Infante falls into the sea;” this party are not [to] separate, so as to be able to defend themselves against the attacks of “lions, elephants, wild asses, or ill-disposed men, – without, however, injuring any one, thus proving, – even if attacked, – by a friendly bearing towards the assailants, that we come to hurt no one.”

  • Extracts of Considerations for the Information and Guidance of Commander Van der Stell, by Governor-General R. van Goens [Donald Moodie, Papers Relative to the Condition and Treatment of the native Tribes of South Africa, p. 387]

Cape of Good Hope’s 1st Recorded Japanese political exile dies there (1733)

Cape of Good Hope’s 1st Recorded Japanese political exile dies there (1733)  

Illustration of a Japanese Christian at Batavia

by Mansell Upham

13 December 1715 sees the arrival of Angenata / Angenatha geweesene hoofd van Japan the banished (ex Batavia) former head of the Nihonmachi (‘Japanese Quarter’ or kampong / kampung) at the Dutch VOC-occupied Batavia – in what today is the city of Jakarta on Java in Indonesia.

View of present-day Cape Town from Robben Island

He is found recorded confined to Robben Island – then the Dutch-occupied Cape of Good Hope’s colonial penal settlement in Table Bay – as follows [verbatim transcriptions are mine]:[1]   

                    1728:          Indiaanen op ‘t Robben Eijlandt:

                                         Angenata geweesene hoofd van Jampan [sic – Japan] van Batavia gekoomen 13 December 1715 tot nadere ordre

                    1733:            Angenatha gewesene hoofd van Japan van Batavia gekoomen 13 December 1715 tot nadere ordre 12 Augustus 1733 na hospitael en aldaer ov[er]leden

Yamada Nagamasa / 山田 長政(1590-1630) –  Japanese adventurer who gains considerable influence in  Ayutthaya Kingdom at the beginning of 17th century becoming  governor of Nakhon SI Thammarat province on the Malay Peninsula in present-day southern Thailand. Head (1617-1630) of the Japanese village (nihonmachi) known as Ban Yipun in the Thai language within city of Ayutthaya (capital city of the Ayutthaya Kingdom) & home to roughly 1000 Japanese citizens headed by a Japanese chief nominated by the Ayutthayan authorities – inhabitants being a combination of traders, Christian converts who flee their home country following persecutions of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, as well as rōnin / 浪人 – ie ‘drifters’ or ‘wanderers (unemployed former samurai) on losing side at the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) or the Siege of Osaka (1614-15).

[1] Cape Archives (CA): CJ 3188, Bandieten Rollen (1728-1798)

Marriage (9 December 1798) at the Groote Kerk, Cape Town of Founding Parents of the PRIEM family in South Africa

by Mansell Upham

Today (1798) marriage at the Groote Kerk, Cape Town of the founding parents of the PRIEM family in South Africa:

den egten Staat hebben begeeven den 9 December [1798] Hendrik Prein [sic] van Smalsteen, Jong man, met Nella Catharina van den Berg van Cabo de Goede Hoop, Jonge dogter Cornelia (Neeltje / Nella) Catharina van den BERG (1785-1838)

daughter of:

Mattheas Hartmann van den BERG alias Matthijs van den BERG(H) from Muenster in Westphalia, Germany and Geertruijda BRITS who marry a few months earlier (4 March 1798) – the same year as their 13-year-old daughter Neeltje Initially illegitimate, she is baptized as her mother’s brother’s `daughter’ …

maternal granddaughter of:


great-granddaughter of:

Cornelis BRITS d’Oude by 3rd wife Maria Magdalena de PERONNE, wid. Jacob MOSTERT

great-great-granddaughter of:

Hans Jacob BRITS / PRITS (from Stein)- who farms at Koornhof [Coornhoop] on the Liesbeeck – and Dina WILLEMSE aka Dina OCKERSE, de jure daughter of Willem WILLEMSZ: (from Deventer) but de facto or biological daughter of Ockert Cornelisz: OLIVIER by Maria Jans: VISSER (from Ommen, Overijssel, Netherlands …

Neeltje marries Cape Town 9 December 1798

Heinrich PRIEN (1761-1810) who becomes known by his Netherlandized names – Hendrik PRIEM

and who hails from the hamlet of Schmalstede in Danish Holsten [now Schleswig-Holstein, Federal Republic of Germany]

The PRIEM family has its beginnings at Jan Biesjes Kraal – [present-day Milnerton] and d’Yzer Plaat [Ysterplaat] …

1st houvrou to Willem CAESAR – brother to Hendrik CAESAR, the man who chaperones the celebrated Hottentot Venus Saartje BAARTMAN to Britain and France …

Neeltje thereafter settles at Blaauwbergs Valleij [Blaauw Bergs Vallei / Bloubergsvlei] – on which farm the Battle of Blouberg (1806) had taken place – where she shacks up with Justinus (Justus) Nikolaus KEER (1773-1823) from Eisenach – former owner of Jan van Riebeeck’s farm Bosheuwel [Bishopscourt] and divorced husband of Johanna Magdalena Eykenstrom (1744-1843), wid. Jens Jansen

She marries (2ndly) DRC Cape Town (22 April 1827) the enlisted British soldier Andreas Wanning (from Amsterdam)

She dies (15 April 1835) at Blue Berg Valley, Cape District (aged 50 years, 2 months and 4 days)

Her only son Jan Hendrik PRIEM later relocates to “Vaatjie” [Aen de Overzijde van de Zoute Rivier] and Keert de Koe [Groote Oliphants Kop] – all situated behind the Blaauw Berg …

Her only daughter Elisabeth (Betje) Geertruida PRIEM leaves KEER / KEUR descendants via a de facto relationship with Justinus / Justus Nicolaas KEER Jr. …

Exiled Ranee of Tambora foregoes insubordinate slaves opting instead for a monthly allowance …

by Mansell Upham

As her recently, specially VOC-allocated, slaves have “not always behaved nicely to her”, the exiled Ranee of Tambora prefers “instead, a monthly allowance of money …”

Depiction of a wealthy ‘Cape Malay’ woman

The exiled Ranee of Tambora petitions the Council of Policy at the Dutch-occupied and VOC-ruled colony at the Cape of Good Hope for financial assistance after her previous petition to be able to return to Batavia [now Jakarta on Java, Indonesia] with her children, falls on deaf ears:

… The widow of the Rajah of Tambora states “that her husband had died more than three years ago and that she had been supported since with provisions by the Company, which gave her also three slaves to work for her and her children, so that she could get on fairly well; that however, some time ago the slaves were taken away from her; that that had reduced her to great poverty, that she must pay seven Rixdollars per month for house rent; and therefore she asks that some allowance may be granted her, and that the slaves may be restored to her, but as they have not always behaved nicely to her, she would prefer, instead, a monthly allowance of money.

Dingsdag den 8e December 1722, voormiddags.

Alle tegenwoordig.

… Laastelijk is ter vergaderinge overwogen ‘t gedaane versoek vervat in ‘t requeste door

  • de wed, van den geweesene Raja van Tambora

in d’ onderstaande termen overgegeven :

Aan den Wel Edelen Gestrenge Heere Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes – – – benevens den E.[dele] Agtb[ar]e. Raad van Politie.

Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes (1654-8 September 1724)VOC governor of the Cape of Good Hope (1714-1721) 

Wel Edele Gestre[ngen]. Heere en E.[dele] Agtb[ar]e. Heeren,

Geeft in alle oodmoed te kennen

  • de wed[duw]e. van den geweesene Raja van Tambora,

hoe sij ‘t sedert het overlijden van haaren man voorn[oem]t. nu al over de drie jaaren geleeden door d’ E.[dele] Comp.[agnie] is besorgt geworden met eenige weynige levens middelen, benevens drie slaven dewelke voor haar en haar kinderen hebben g’arbeijd, waar door sij suppl[ian]te. op een redelijke wijse heeft kunnen subsisteeren, dog dat nu eenige tijd geleeden geme.[elde] slaven haar sijn afgenomen geworden, waar door de suppl[ian]te. is gebragt in een slegte toestand, als niets van sig selven hebbende waar door aan de kost zoude kunnen geraken, zijnde bovens dien haar drie soonen tegenswoordig nogh wegens haare jonkheit te onmagtigh om door haaren arbeid iets te kunnen gewinnen en daar door de suppl[ian]te. te onderhouden, moetende sij suppl[ian]te. ook voor huijs huur ‘s maands betalen de somma van R[ijks]d[aalder]s. 7, alle het geen haar swaar komt te drukken, sodanig dat sij suppl[ian]te. daar door nevens haare kinderen somwijlen gebrek komt te leijden, weshalven sij in deese nood haar uijtterste toevlugt is nemende tot Uwe Wel Edele Gestre.[ngen] en E.[dele] Agtb[ar]e. met demoedig versoek dat Uwe Wel Edele Gestre.[ngen] en E.[dele] Agtb[ar]e. zoo medogent willen sijn van haar iets meer als tegenswoordig tot onderhoud komt genieten, gelieven toe te leggen, als meede dat de drie opgem.[elde] slaven haar weeder tot gebruijk mogte overgegeven werden, of wel dat Uwe Wel Edele Gestre.[ngen] en E.[dele] Agtb[ar]e. het geen de suppl[ian]te. vrij liever hadde als het met Uwe Wel Edele Gestre.[ngen] en E.[dele] Agtb[ar]e. wel behage mogte sijn, dat aan haar eenigh geld des ‘s maands mogte toegevoegt werden om daar van haar huijshuur en noodig onderhoud te kunnen voldoen, dewijl de slaven die sij van d’ E.[dele] Comp[agni]e. gehad heeft deurgaans ongehoorsaam en wrevelmoedigh haar hebben aangestelt, zullende bij obtineering van dit oodmoedig versoek de suppl[ian]te. nevens haare kinderen in haaren oudendag in staad werden gestelt om eerlijk te kunnen leven, voor welke weldaat zij Uwe Wel Edele Gestre[ngen] en E.[dele] Agtb[ar]e. levens lang dankbaarheit zal bewijsen.

(Onderstond) ‘t Welk doende &a.

En vervolgens geresolveerd om reedenen daar bij gemeld, dat aan haar ‘s maandelijx sal werden betaald sodanigen ses R[ijks]d[aalder]s. als voor deesen sijn verstrekt geworden aan

  • den soo genaamde Prins van Ternaten,

die om desselfs quaad gedrag van hier naar ‘t Robben Eijland is versonden geworden, omme aldaar aan ‘s Comp[agnie]s. gemeene werken te arbeijden.

Aldus geresolveerd ende gearresteerd in ‘t Casteel de Goede Hoop, ten dage en jaare voorsz. [7] 

[Cape Archives (CA): C 61, pp. 53-61]

The Council grants her relief by way of transferring the monies paid monthly to the exiled rapist Prince of Ternate:

Catchiri Daijman Mamoeti / Katsili Dayan Mamoedy / Kitsjel Dain Mamoedie / Ketees Malocco / [Kyai Chili Mahmud / محمود – `the praised one`] / Jonker van Macassar, Prince of Ternate and Prince of Calomato [Kalamata] – now provisionally detained with his one slave on Robben Island for running a brothel and gambling house …

Note: She is the daughter of Abadin Tadia Tjoessoep (1626–1699) aka Sheikh Yusuf … “den Macassarisse Priester, Schjegh JosephMuhammad Yūsuf al-Maqassārī (1037-1111 / 1627-99) alias Abd Allāh Abū al-Mahāsin al-Tāj al-Khalwātī al-Maqassārī (known in Sulawesi as Tuanta Salamaka ri Gowa but better known in South Africa as Shaikh Yusup / Yusuf alias Sheik(h) Joseph or Abidin Tadia Tjoessoep) who is re-exiled from Ceylon [Sri Lanka] (and prior to that from Batavia) to the Cape of Good Hope with his retinue of Maccassarese and Ternaten royal, political followers and slaves arriving (31 March 1694) on the ship Voetboog ex Ceylon [present-day Sri Lanka] …

For more information, click at the following link:…/IndentifyingJonkervanMacass